What’s been happening in the world of football on Merseyside this week? Jennifer Jewell gives us the scoop . . .
Lennon’s a Goodie
Aaron Lennon has been receiving an awful lot of praise in the local papers this week as it seems the impact he has had recently has made him a key target for Everton this summer. And the Toffees want the Tottenham loanee to know he is completely appreciated here on Merseyside. Roberto Martinez has said that the winger has been a key part of their revival in the Premier League, while Leighton Baines has spoken out about Lennon’s unbelievable work rate. The Everton fans would love the 28-year-old to make a permanent move to Goodison Park and he could be available from Spurs for as little as £6million this summer, which is a sum I’m sure chairman Bill Kenwright would be happy to pay.
Rodgers relying on FA Cup glory
Liverpool have a very important game this weekend and there’s a lot of pressure being heaped on Brendan Rodgers to, not only beat Aston Villa in this weekend’s FA Cup semi-final, but to go all the way and actually win the competition. Should he fail to do so, he would become just the second Reds manager to finish their first three seasons without a trophy in over 50 years – the last manager being Phil Taylor in the 50s. England boss Roy Hodgson was the last Liverpool manager to fail to win anything but he was only in charge for six months. Rodgers’ time at Anfield has certainly been up and down, and ending another season trophyless could possibly put his job on the line, if the whispers around Merseyside are to be believed. This weekend is a big one for everyone concerned at Liverpool Football Club.
Summer transfer rumours heat up
We’ve arrived at that time of the season where rumours start to appear over who will be leaving and who will be arriving in the summer. There are a lot of them here on Merseyside. Martinez has got fans talking (and worrying) about his comments after the Swansea game. The Blues boss said: “When you haven’t got too much money, it’s about being creative.” So maybe no £28m Romelu Lukaku signings this summer, but Everton are once again showing strong interest in Manchester United’s Tom Cleverley, who has been on Martinez’s radar for a while. Ex-Liverpool player Raul Meireles was even linked to the Toffees this week but I’m not sure how likely that one is to go any further for the Fenerbahce midfielder.
Most of Liverpool’s summer transfer talk has been around their starlet Raheem Sterling but there are other rumours too! The Reds are being linked with some very high-profile players this week, including Chelsea’s Oscar, who has question marks over his future at Stamford Bridge after Jose Mourinho’s recent criticism of the 23-year-old. Radamel Falcao is also being considered by Liverpool after it emerged that United don’t intend to make his loan move a permanent one. The Colombian could become a Liverpool player for just over £25m this summer.
We can’t talk about football on Merseyside this week without paying tribute to the 96 fans who tragically lost their lives 26 years ago at Hillsborough. As always Liverpool put on a beautiful memorial service at Anfield, with both current and past Reds players in attendance, while Martinez also paid his respects. The memorial ended with Merseyside captains Steven Gerrard and Phil Jagielka stepping onto the pitch to let off 96 balloons as the crowd sang You’ll Never Walk Alone. Gone but never forgotten.